ALMOST Famous, a local theatre company, performed at Salford University’s Robert Powell Theatre for their closing night on Saturday and the crowd were certainly happy for ‘Being Alive’.
The well-acclaimed Stephen Sondheim musical, Company, was done its justice on Saturday night as the promising university students in Almost Famous Theatre Company brought the 1970’s classic back to life.
The show itself is known for its unique and different style of songs and tells the story of the main character, Robert, and his happiness or more so unhappiness after his 35rd birthday. The heart-wrenching but comedic tale shows Robert’s despair as he is left alone, watching each of his friends get married and have company (Yes, I know, I used the title).
Despite the challenging songs, awkward tempo’s and slightly outdated humour written into the script, Almost Famous successfully produced laughter and watery eyes from the audience when it was needed with the group’s powerful and emotive performing.
The protagonist, played by Jack Fletcher, was impressively played after having little singing experience prior to this production. All the notes were hit great considering his expertise and it was clear how much effort and time had gone into perfecting his moments. His chemistry with the rest of the cast was wonderful and really strengthened his performance. Most noticeably in the scene between Robert and Marta played by Hayley Graham- the audience were in tears laughing. It really was a standout moment which built up excitement for the rest of the show.
Other notable performances are hard to point out as the entire show kept a continuous hyped mood and the performers held the audience through every scene and song. ‘Side by side’ was a personal favourite with clever choreography performed by the entire cast, the live band were a nice touch which brought even more drama and impact, especially in this big, over the top number.
Despite the overall enjoyable take on the show, some moments did cause slight disruption for the audience. Mic levels in comparison to the loud, live band were bad and hindered a couple of performances resulting in lost lyrics which are very vital in every song in this musical. Awkward glances among the cast and nervous silences definitely hindered a lot of the show. Some mic volumes were questionable if they were even switched on.
Nevertheless, these moments did not falter the atmosphere too much. The effort the cast had put in was obvious and certainly showed. It was a bold move by the group to try and make their own spin on this infamously hard musical, however, it definitely paid off and made a great and fun night for all. But, maybe time to hire a new tech team.